Part 36: O-Hanami no Yoru

        "Konbawa!" Yamcha shouted excitedly as he and Pu'ar stepped out of their little car. "It's a beautiful night!"
        "Yamcha!" Goku exclaimed.
        "Glad you could make it, Yamcha-san!" ChiChi called.
        Yamcha laughed out loud. "Like I'd ever miss THIS occasion!  Here." He handed ChiChi a couple of bottles
of champagne. "Konbawa minnasan!"
        Everyone there waved and shouted out greetings.  Krillin's family had gotten there before the Sons.  Tien and Chaozu were there, too.  Like every time they got together, everyone came to meet with everybody else.  Goku looked around eagerly.  Then, downcast, he asked his wife, "Hey, where's Vegeta?"

        "VEGETA!  Get your butt out of there NOW!" Bulma yelled at the top of her lungs into the gravity room.  If her husband thought he was going to get out of going to the festival by locking himself in, he had another think coming. "I'M COMING IN NOW, VEGETA!" she warned him.
        Trunks and Bra were behind her, watching silently.  They knew better than to try and talk with their mother while she was raging.  Bulma's glare did credit to even Vegeta.  She grit her teeth and muttered something under her breath as she stomped over to the gravity room.
        "Bra?" Trunks whispered.
        "Yes, Niichan?"
        "I just wanted to tell you that you are my dear, beloved sister, and you always will be."
        Bra stared at him. "Trunks, what are you talking about?"
        "I just thought I should tell you before we meet our maker."
        "Nani?  Are you dying or something?" Bra asked in confusion.
        "Vegeta, if you don't come out of there, I'M BLOWING UP THE WHOLE HOUSE!" Bulma yelled.
        Bra stood quietly at first, then smiled sweetly at her brother. "And I love you, too, Trunks."

        Pan walked over to where Marron was helping her mother, ChiChi, and Videl prepare the food. "Hey, Marron," she said.
        Marron smiled brightly. "Oh, hi, Pan!"
        "Need any help?"
        "Nope, thanks, we're almost done, though." Marron opened the last can of sushi. "There!"
        Pan was silent for a moment, then looked at Marron. "Can I talk to you for a second, please?"
        Marron raised her eyebrows then smiled. "Sure," she said.  She excused herself from her mother and ChiChi and followed Pan through the crowds.  They finally stopped.  Marron waited patiently for Pan to say something.   Finally, she started, "So, did you want to talk about something?" she asked.
        "I actually wanted to ask you something."
        "I'll share any wisdom I have, but if you're asking about fighting or battles, let me tell you now that you're asking the wrong person."
        Pan giggled as she shook her head. "Don't worry, it's not about that."
        "Okay, then what?"
        "Well…it's about my uncle."
        "Oh!  Look at the time!  I have to go serve the drinks!  I'll be right back!" Marron exclaimed, turning away.  Pan grabbed her arm.
        "Yesterday at the mall…they—he and Bra-chan…" Pan looked down.
        Marron looked at her dark-haired friend.  She sighed heavily and smiled. "Bra should be the one to tell you," she said softly.
        "I know!  Why didn't she just tell me she liked Goten-ojichan?" Pan exclaimed. 
        "Pan, she was afraid you'd be so angry if she told you."
        "But I'm her best friend!"
        "You're also his niece."
        Pan looked Marron straight in the eyes, then looked away. "I…I just…"
        "Pan-chan, who wouldn't get embarrassed and afraid to tell a best friend that she…she fell for that best friend's uncle?" Marron asked solemnly. "Even I was a little scared tot tell her that I'm falling for…uh, never mind."
        "Pan…" Marron put her hand on Pan's shoulder. "Bra will tell you everything.  I know she will."
        "Mm-hmm!  Just give her a little time.  Well, I better get going." Marron walked away.
        "Just…does Goten-ojichan…like her, too?"
        Marron didn't answer, just smiled sweetly at the younger girl. 

        "Hey everybody!" Bulma called as her family finally arrived.  No one suspected that a big fight had occurred between Bulma and Vegeta because they looked normal as usual. "Sorry we're late, ChiChi!"
        "It's okay, but what happened?"
        Bulma put on a fake smile. "Something came up.  Our—"
        A couple of men ran past them shouting, "I heard there's a BIG EXPLOSION at the Capsule Corp main
building!  Let's go check it out!"
        Juuhachi-gou and ChiChi turned back to Bulma, eyebrows raised.
        "Okay, so our kitchen blew up!" Bulma downplayed it. "What's the big deal?"
        The truth was, when Vegeta wouldn't leave the gravity room, Bulma had just blown it up with Vegeta inside of

        Trunks was about to step out of the car when he saw that Bra was still in the back seat, motionless. She still looked rather sad.  Trunks sighed heavily and sat back. "What's the matter, Bra?" he asked.
        "Mo…Oniichan.  It's just that I don't feel so good." 
        "Are you sick?"
        She shook her head. "No…I'm just…"
        Bra's eyes flew open at that.  She bent her head and sighed.  He's right. She is nervous.  Especially after yesterday.  What will she do when she sees him?  But how did Trunks know?  He didn't know anything about yesterday…
        "Come on, Bra!  Just forget it and have fun!" he suggested, trying to get her mind off his baka friend.
"Look, everyone's here!"
        "Yes…everyone." Bra turned and looked out the window where their family and friends were.  Everyone—but him.  He wasn't there?  Bra was strangely disappointed, but relieved, too.  She opened the door and stepped out.  Trunks grinned and joined her, putting his arm around her shoulder as they walked towards everyone.
        All I'm gonna do is have fun tonight, she thought. Just have a good time. 

        Everyone was there except Goten.  Everyone sat together under a couple of big Sakura trees and "ooh-ed" and "ah-ed" at the lovely cherry blossoms.  Most everyone had celebrated the O-Hanami festival during the day, so almost no one was there with the group.  The cherry blossoms looked beautiful even at night.
        Vegeta grabbed food and tried to hide, but Bulma caught him every time he tried to sneak away and kept him there.
        Krillin stood up. "Karaoke?" he suggested. "I have two mics here, people!  Come on!"
        Goku jumped up. "ME ME ME!" he yelled.
        Vegeta felt a sudden awful premonition. "Kuso!  Don't do it, Kakarott." He jumped to his feet and tried to run away when Goku grabbed his arm. "Come on!" Goku urged. "We'll ALL sing!"
        "WHAT?  NO!!!!!!"
        "What a GREAT IDEA!" Bulma exclaimed, giving her husband a wicked smile.  Vegeta pleaded silently with her, but the smile slid off her face and she gave him THE LOOK.  That evil, evil look.  Why couldn't someone just kill him instead?
        Goku still had his arm around Vegeta and he grinned. "Let's sing Sukiyaki!" he exclaimed. 

        The food and drinks were at one big table far away from the group.  Marron hung around there, refilling drinks and such.  She was just pouring some more drinks when someone came up from behind her.
        She looked behind her in surprise. "Oh, Trunks, it's you.  Hi." She smiled at him and went back to work.  He casually walked closer to her and watched her.  Then his gaze went to all the delicious food, most of it made by ChiChi.  And ChiChi was a wonderful chef.  He subtly reached for a fried fishball that looked especially good.
        Marron saw his movements and slapped his hand. "No," she scolded.
        He rubbed his hand and chuckled.  He stared at her for a while, admiring how beautiful she really was.  She hadn't worn anything pink that night choosing instead to wear a midnight blue dress that showed off all her curves.  But he'd seen more that that, so…
        She hadn't worn ponytails either, but let her long blond hair fall down pass her shoulders.  Trunks looked back at the group having fun, but he'd rather stay with Marron the entire night. But she said she didn't' want to make their friends suspect anything about their relationship yet.  He understood, but…
        Marron broke through his reverie. "Want some?"
        "Huh?  Oh, no, thanks."
        She giggled, then watched her family with their friends. "Isn't it so beautiful?" she asked dreamily.
        "Yes." He looked down at her. "You are."
        "I meant the blossoms, silly."
        "What?  Oh, I guess so…all the pink and white and blue—no, there's no blue.  Um, can I have that drink now?"
        "Trunks, you're acting so weird!" Marron laughed and handed him a glass of juice. "Hey, I wonder why Goten isn't here yet.  Do you think he's all right?"
        "I dunno…he didn't call me yesterday or anything." Trunks chugged his drink in one gulp. "I know he was going out with Bra yesterday, but she didn't tell me anything.  She did look rather upset," he added thoughtfully.
        Marron looked at the ground without responding.  She didn't want to tell Trunks about Goten coming to her house yesterday and what they'd talked about.  It would be better for him to find out from Bra, or from Goten.  She looked over at Bra, who was talking to Pan and Ubuu.  They were all laughing and joking, so she supposed Bra was okay.
        "Marron?  Marron!" Trunks yelled.
        "Huh?  What?"
        "Are you okay?"
        "Oh…yes.  I was just…thinking, that's all."
        "Does it take that much out of you?" he teased gently, looking around to make sure no one was watching them.  When he was sure it was safe, he put down his glass and reached for her hand.  He tilted her head up and smiled down at her.  Marron smiled back and closed her eyes as Trunks bent his head and leaned closer to her.  Their lips had almost touched when someone appeared next to them.
        "Whoa, sorry!"
        Marron gasped and pushed Trunks away so hard he fell on the ground. "We—we—he—I was just looking at his—his zit!" she stammered out.
        "Relax!" The familiar voice laughed. "Hey, sorry I'm late!"
        Marron turned around in surprise. "Oh, Goten.  It's you," she said in relief.
        "Ta-da!" he said playfully and lent Trunks a hand to help him up.  Trunks knocked Goten's hand away and glared at his friend. Goten laughed again. "Nice to see you, too, Trunks!" He turned back to Marron. "So, how is everything?"
        "So far, so good."
        Goten moved closer. "And how's she doing?" he whispered.
        "She looked all right to me," Marron whispered back. "But why are we—"
        "Marron!" Krillin called. "Can we have another bottle of Sake please?"
        "Yes, Otousan!" Marron called back. "Well, duty calls," she said to Goten. "We'll talk later, okay?"
        He nodded. "Okay."
        Marron picked up the bottle of Sake and a couple of extra glasses.  She was about to go over to the party when she noticed Trunks standing off to one side, watching her.  She smiled at him, made sure no on was watching (except Goten), walked over to him, tip-toed up and gave him a quick kiss.  She smiled again and went over to her father.
        Trunks didn't say anything; just stared at Marron as she walked away.
        "How cute," Goten teased.
        Trunks glared at him again. "I hate you."
        "No you don't.  You're just saying that to make me feel better." Goten laughed and looked at the crowd until he spotted Bra.  She looked really happy!  Had she forgotten everything about yesterday?  No, that was impossible.  Still, he wondered how he was going to react when she saw him.  Or what he's going to do when he talks to her.  He just stood there staring until he remembered Trunks was watching him.
        "So how come you're late?" he asked.
        "Hmm?" Goten looked at Trunks. "Oh, well, I was flying around."
        "Yeah, you know, enjoying the air, the view.  That kind of thing."
        "I see." Trunks rolled his eyes.
        Goten put his arm around Trunks' shoulder and grinned. "Come on!  It's a lovely night!  Let's go meet the crowd!"
        So Trunks and Goten went over and joined the crowd.  Everyone was surprised when they saw Goten.  Especially Bra…

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"Beloved" by GLAY